SC Governor declares state of emergency as winter storm moves in

Columbia, S.C. (Tuesday, January 28, 12:00 P.M.) - Governor Nikki Haley has declared a State of Emergency due to the forecasted winter weather that is expected to impact the state beginning this afternoon. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division and members of the State Emergency Response Team have activated the South Carolina Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) at Operation Condition 3 (OpCon 3). The SEOC will remain activated for the duration of this event.

OpCon 3 is the state's prepared level when a disaster or emergency situation is likely. The South Carolina Emergency Operations Plan and the appropriate specific impact hazard emergency plan is activated.

Governor Nikki Haley has ordered all state government offices to follow county government closing decisions; meaning if a county administration decides to close for the day, state offices in that county will automatically follow the same schedule. SCEMD is urging everyone to take proper safety measures to handle frozen precipitation, hazardous road conditions and extremely cold temperatures.

Currently:
• The South Carolina Department of Transportation has crews salting roads throughout the state. Conditions on many roadways are expected to be extremely hazardous. You are urged not to drive unless absolutely necessary.
• The South Carolina Highway Patrol is sending additional personnel to staging areas, including resources from the State Law Enforcement Division and the Department of Natural Resources. Although traffic is light at this point, there have been reports of accidents and disabled motorists.
• S.C. National Guard soldiers are standing by to assist first responders and state agencies should additional support be needed.
• S.C. Department of Social Services staff, American Red Cross and Salvation Army volunteers are standing by to operate shelters should they become necessary.
• State Office of Regulatory Staff is working with the power utilities to track potential power outages and restoration time estimates should the storm cause power outages. The power companies report their preparedness for the storm is high; however, if you lose power, you are urged to report the outage to you utility.
• The State Fire Marshal's Office and S.C. Forestry Commission are standing by to provide personnel and vehicle support as requested.

Resources:
• Status of State Government Offices from SCEMD: www.scemd.org
• SCDOT's web site to check road conditions and traffic cameras: www.scdot.org
• The Highway Patrol's web site to get real-time traffic information: www.schp.org
• SCEMD's social media: www.facebook.com/scemd, twitter.com/scemd